You are here

Digital audio noise from PC

For anything relating to music-making on Windows computers, with lots of FAQs. Moderated by Martin Walker.

Re: Digital audio noise from PC

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Wed May 27, 2020 2:47 pm

Marbury wrote:The description states though that it is a hum fixer. I wonder if it will tackle digital computer interference noise that I am getting.

I wonder too....

But here's a really wacky idea... why not actually try and do the things we're suggesting might help? That way you -- and we -- might make some small progress in resolving the problem!

And yes, there is a potential for a small reduction in audio quality because the quality of transformer you can get for £3 (there's two in the box) is likely to be a bit limited.... A truly high-quality dual isolating transformer box with Lundahl or Jensen transformers will set you back over £200.

But this is an experiment, and if it resolves the noise issues it will be a massive step forward. You will then be better informed as to the real problem, and can decide whether there really is a quality loss with that specific box in circuit, and if so can ponder the various alternative options to go to address that.

One logical step at a time....
User avatar
Hugh Robjohns
Moderator
Posts: 27646
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Worcestershire, UK
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound

Re: Digital audio noise from PC

Postby Marbury » Wed May 27, 2020 3:01 pm

I am teetering weather to get some nice new Neauman monitors that are self powered as suggested by dave a few posts ago. This would cure the problem and would hopefully give me a far better sound than the now archaic Absolute 2s.
Marbury
Frequent Poster
Posts: 778
Joined: Thu Aug 28, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Cheshire, UK
 

Re: Digital audio noise from PC

Postby James Perrett » Wed May 27, 2020 3:16 pm

Marbury wrote:I am teetering weather to get some nice new Neauman monitors that are self powered as suggested by dave a few posts ago. This would cure the problem and would hopefully give me a far better sound than the now archaic Absolute 2s.

Don't go complicating things - buy one of those isolators first. We're really trying to help here but you are making things very difficult by going off on tangents. There's no guarantee that the Neumann monitors will fix the issue and they're much more expensive than a simple transformer isolator.
User avatar
James Perrett
Moderator
Posts: 9370
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2001 12:00 am
Location: The wilds of Hampshire
JRP Music - Audio Mastering and Restoration. JRP Music Facebook Page

Re: Digital audio noise from PC

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Wed May 27, 2020 4:27 pm

Marbury wrote:I am teetering weather to get some nice new Neauman monitors that are self powered as suggested by dave a few posts ago. This would cure the problem and would hopefully give me a far better sound than the now archaic Absolute 2s.

Any of the Neumann monitors would undoubtedly give you better sound than the archaic Absolute Poos (as we lovingly referred to them... :lol: ) and Samson set up.

However, as to whether they would cure the problem, we can't say BECAUSE YOU HAVEN'T YET IDENTIFIED WHAT THE ACTUAL PROBLEM IS!

You're still trying to run before learning how to walk.

If -- and it's still an 'if' -- your unwanted noises are due to a ground-loop problem, then KH80s might well solve that ground-loop as they are Class-II speakers, meaning they don't have a mains safety ground connection (so can't form part of a loop). But of course there could still be other ground-loops within your system as a whole... And I think all of the other Neumann monitors are Class-I devices with mains safety earths.
User avatar
Hugh Robjohns
Moderator
Posts: 27646
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Worcestershire, UK
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound

Re: Digital audio noise from PC

Postby Mike Stranks » Wed May 27, 2020 5:04 pm

Yes; if you're serious about producing music then your monitoring system is in need of an upgrade...

... but not yet...

You do not yet have a definitive solution to the problem and until you do could well spend a significant sum and still have your digital chatter problems.

Please listen to what we're saying and tackle the issue logically, eliminating potential causes one by one.

... and when you've sorted all the digital noise problems it may be that your funds may be better spent on somewhat cheaper monitors together with some acoustic treatment or a set of good headphones.

One step at a time...
Mike Stranks
Jedi Poster
Posts: 7332
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2003 1:00 am

Re: Digital audio noise from PC

Postby Marbury » Wed May 27, 2020 9:09 pm

My intention was not to step on the toes of many seasoned and wise audio experience here, which I fully respect and appreciate. Apologies if that came across, it wasn't intended.

I am just a very very indecisive (slightly ocd) creature who teeters between being too cautious or making sudden, reckless impulsive decisions. I do take my music seriously, but my way of doing things is a bit Heath Robinson. The Absolute 2's and Samson 170 have helped me create some music that now earns me moderate PRS earnings. I tend to monitor on my now very much loved Shure SRH840 headphones which will soon have to be surgically removed as I use them to listen for pleasure also.

I just asked about the Neumans as they were a possible upgrade anyway, and if solved the problem, it would be a bonus. If not, I would have got the isolater box anyway.

In an ideal world, I would willingly employ any of your services for advice and instillation on a studio upgrade. I just want to get on with the creative stuff.
Marbury
Frequent Poster
Posts: 778
Joined: Thu Aug 28, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Cheshire, UK
 

Re: Digital audio noise from PC

Postby Mike Stranks » Wed May 27, 2020 10:34 pm

I can only speak for myself... I don't feel you're treading on my toes or rubbishing my advice...

... but what I do feel is that you're not listening to what we're saying. You've stated that you're an impulsive person. All the more reason then to adopt the methodical approach we've advocated.

Check-out each item of kit one by one in a logical order... Is it this item causing the issue? No; OK move on to the next one... and so on.

We've gone through so many ins and outs now that I'm getting lost. Why not give us a full list of kit (I know it's probably 'again'; sorry!) with what is connected to what and with what?

For instance (and this is neither the first nor last item in the list - just an example):
'XYZ Interface connected to the aux input of a a Samson abc Amp using jack cables with standard TS plugs on each end'.

When we've got that we can draw-up a checking list for you to help you check all the connections in a logical order and identify where the problem lies.

As for your monitoring system... I know it's served you well and you've made money from using it, but your monitors are now very much not only yesterday's technology, but, being frank, not particularly brilliant when they were new. They come from an time when the choice of kit was limited and what was available was not always that good. But we all had to take what we could - and what we could afford...
Mike Stranks
Jedi Poster
Posts: 7332
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2003 1:00 am

Re: Digital audio noise from PC

Postby Marbury » Sat May 30, 2020 9:09 pm

Sorry to not get back sooner but my mum has been taken into hospital and it doesn't look good.

I have ordered the Behringer HD400 as it has great reviews and I got a very good deal on it. I will report back when I have tested it and see if it works. I do def need to ditch the Absolute 2's and get decent near-field replacements so that will be my next step.
Marbury
Frequent Poster
Posts: 778
Joined: Thu Aug 28, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Cheshire, UK
 

Re: Digital audio noise from PC

Postby Mike Stranks » Sat May 30, 2020 9:17 pm

Sorry to hear about your mum... I hope the outcome is more positive than you fear...
Mike Stranks
Jedi Poster
Posts: 7332
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2003 1:00 am

Re: Digital audio noise from PC

Postby zenguitar » Sat May 30, 2020 11:06 pm

Sorry to hear about your mum. I'll keep you and your family in my thoughts.

Andy :beamup:
User avatar
zenguitar
Moderator
Posts: 10136
Joined: Thu Dec 05, 2002 1:00 am
Location: Devon
When you see a fork in the road, take it.
Yogi Berra

Re: Digital audio noise from PC

Postby Marbury » Mon Jun 01, 2020 12:38 pm

Hi folks, Thanks for the kind thoughts. Mum has suddenly been put onto end of life care (long story as we all went through it last October but she recovered. Sadly not this time so it's a waiting time which isn't nice. I know it sounds strange but music is a good diversion at this time that keeps my mind occupied. I have just downloaded a couple of nice Spitfire VSTs in the sale (Hans Zimmer percussion and David Fanshawe's sounds in "Orbis"

Just to say the Behringer HD400 has cured the noisy problem. I did find however that one of the jacks on the balanced lead for the input to the Samson was the culprit as when I tweaked it around in the phono socket it almost went quiet. Suffice to say I am still glad I have this box as it can be useful for cutting out other unwanted noise I may encounter.

Rather than open another post I would be interested in your thoughts on a good near field set up that would vastly iprove on the Spirit Absolute 2's to either use with the Samson or self power. As I mentioned earlier the Neuman KH 80 or some genelecs seem like nice speakers. I would like you to see my set up (small spare bedroom) and the kind of space they will be used in, but there is no way of posting images here.
Marbury
Frequent Poster
Posts: 778
Joined: Thu Aug 28, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Cheshire, UK
 

Re: Digital audio noise from PC

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Mon Jun 01, 2020 12:56 pm

Marbury wrote:Sadly not this time so it's a waiting time which isn't nice.

Sorry to hear this Marbury. Many of us 'senior' forum members know what it's like to lose parents, and I'm sure all out thoughts are with you at this difficult time.

I know it sounds strange but music is a good diversion at this time that keeps my mind occupied.

No, not strange at all! Whatever it takes to help get you through...

Just to say the Behringer HD400 has cured the noisy problem.

Yay! Logical analysis pays off... :D

I did find however that one of the jacks on the balanced lead for the input to the Samson was the culprit as when I tweaked it around in the phono socket it almost went quiet.

Arrrggghhh! It can't be a balanced connection if you're using a phono socket!!!!!!!

It may well be that had you used real balanced connections (to the TRS or XLR input, depending on the model of amp) from the interace, you wouln't have had any problems at all in the first place!

Suffice to say I am still glad I have this box as it can be useful for cutting out other unwanted noise I may encounter.

Yes, they are very handy things to have around...

But can I suggest you try wiring your interface to your amp using real balanced cables? I suspect that will cure your noises completely, and more reliably than your tweaked phono plug!

...interested in your thoughts on a good near field set up that would vastly iprove on the Spirit Absolute 2's to either use with the Samson or self power.

Almost anything would bring worthwhile improvements to be honest. I'd go for a modern active system and ditch the Samson which tend not to be the most reliable amps anyway.

The Neumann KH 80 or KH120s are great, and very neutral. The Genelecs seem a little more voiced to me, with a slightly pushed midrange, but a lot of people find that helpful when mixing. There are loads of reviews of nearfield monitors in the mag and the online archives, so I suggest you decide a budget, create a shortlist and then read the reviews.

...there is no way of posting images here.

You need to host your pic on a public service like Imgur or somewhere, and then post the image link back here.
User avatar
Hugh Robjohns
Moderator
Posts: 27646
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Worcestershire, UK
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound

Re: Digital audio noise from PC

Postby Trevor Johnson » Mon Jun 01, 2020 1:04 pm

Sorry to hear about your mum, I have been there too.

Please bear in mind that to access all the DSP functionality of the KH80s, "It adapts the KH 80 DSP to the individual room situation, delivering quality way above the price-tag. And the best part: the patented "Guided Alignment" means that you don't have to be an expert to adapt the system to your environment", you need an iPad. There is not an Android, or any other app available.
Trevor Johnson
Regular
Posts: 302
Joined: Sat May 15, 2010 12:00 am

Re: Digital audio noise from PC

Postby Marbury » Mon Jun 01, 2020 1:36 pm

Thanks all, I think the Neumans are the ones to go for. And sorry Hugh, the leads are , I think, balanced 6 mm Male Mono Jack , I just used the word phono which will have confused the issue.
Marbury
Frequent Poster
Posts: 778
Joined: Thu Aug 28, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Cheshire, UK
 

Re: Digital audio noise from PC

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Mon Jun 01, 2020 2:54 pm

Marbury wrote:And sorry Hugh, the leads are , I think, balanced 6 mm Male Mono Jack , I just used the word phono which will have confused the issue.

:crazy: Okay. Thanks for the clarification!

As we've seen throughout this saga, accuracy in terminology and description is paramount.

The RCA-Phono connector is an unbalanced interface, used for analogue line-level audio in hi-fi equipment, as well as for S/PDIF digital audio in semipro gear (and sometimes also for video connections in consumer equipment). It is a horrible connector, for lots of reasons...

The TRS A-type jack plug is quarter-inch (6.35mm) in diameter, and is used for unbalanced stereo in consumer applications and for stereo headphone connections, and as a balanced mono connection in both pro and semipro equipment. The plug has the same diameter and length as the professional PO316 (B-gauge, or BPO) plug, but the tip is smaller and rounded instead of conical, so the A and B-types are completely incompatible with each other.
User avatar
Hugh Robjohns
Moderator
Posts: 27646
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Worcestershire, UK
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound

Previous